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The Fish Rots From The Head: The Crisis in our Boardrooms: Developing the Crucial Skills of the Competent Director by Bob Garratt

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2Re-establishing the supremacy of the board of directors

THE ROOT CAUSE of the loss of power of many boards – indeed the reason the public is asking rightly ‘where was the board?’ – is their surrender to the executives. We have seen this at the start of the 21st century as disaster after disaster has unfolded, from Equitable Life and Enron through Northern Rock and Bear Stearns to Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Lehman Brothers. The senior management team and especially the managing director or chief executive have usurped the board’s formulation of policy and strategic thinking processes, which are the natural province of the board, and have also captured the oversight of their own operational activities. This is understandable if you have ...

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